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Exclusive: Labour veteran denies deliberately ‘liking’ swastika-emblazoned Pride flag

Josh Jackman May 29, 2017
Kate Hoey and the offensive tweet she liked

A Labour politician who is bidding for her eighth election win has been condemned for liking a tweet which features a swastika and satanic stars on a rainbow Pride flag, PinkNews can reveal.

Kate Hoey, the MP for Vauxhall from 1989 until the dissolution of parliament earlier this month, liked the picture, which also included Stars of David and a Confederate Flag-style cross, from her official Twitter account.

The tweet, posted two years ago by a user called ‘david meredith’, was sent with the comment “Flags can be fun too..”.

Hoey, a Labour veteran who was minister for sport under Tony Blair, won a 12,700 majority at the last general election, earning 54 percent of the vote. She is standing again at June 8th.

She was also a prominent supporter of Brexit during last year’s EU referendum.

Harini Iyengar, a barrister who is standing against Hoey for the Women’s Equality Party, told PinkNews: “At best, it’s a very poor exercise of judgment in my view to be liking that tweet.

“Because although the swastika is a thousands-year-old symbol, now to us it represents Nazism and fascism, including murdering Jews and LGBT people.

“When I see that symbol alongside the symbols of Judaism and the LGBT community, I can’t understand why anyone would want to put all those symbols together except to offend people in the LGBT and Jewish communities.”

Iyengar said she was “the last person to tell other people to stand down, because I’ve received some hassle to stand down.”

But she added: “It’s very poor judgment, and I think the people of Vauxhall will need to think long and hard about the judgment of the person who wants to be their MP.”

The Green Party’s candidate for the south London constituency, Gulnar Hasnain, said: “Shocking, why would she even do this?”

She added: “I don’t know her that well but never got the impression she was anti-LGBT or antisemitic. There is no place for hatred in our society.”

Liberal Democrats candidate George Turner declined to comment, while Conservative Party nominee Dolly Theis did not respond to requests for comment.

Kate Hoey and Nigel Farage (getty)

In a statement to PinkNews, Hoey said: “I was appalled to see this image.

“This tweet must have been liked in error while scrolling through my timeline.

“I condemn all use of this kind of unacceptable imagery, and have of course now removed it.

“Thank you for drawing it to my attention.”

The picture below is proof that Hoey liked the tweet originally, but a quick check has confirmed that she unliked the post this afternoon.

Hoey does not follow David Meredith, either of the two users who retweeted the tweet, or any of the eight other users who liked the tweet.

It is therefore unclear how the tweet would have appeared on Hoey’s timeline.

More: Conservative Party, Dolly Theis, General Election 2017, George Turner, green party, Gulnar Hasnain, Harini Iyengar, kate hoey, Labour, Labour party, lib dems, Liberal Democrats, London, mp, Nigel Farage, parliament, pride flag, sport, swastika, UK, Women's Equality Party

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